A Puzzle To Solve

3 Lives
Stars: Mhairi Calvey, Tyron Ricketts, Martin Kaps, Anatole Taubman, Victor Alfieri, and Maja-Celine Probst
Director: Juliane Block
Scriptwriters: Wolf-Peter Arand and Juliane Block
Composer: Walter Mair
Cinematography:Marcus Schwernin
3 Lives Movie Ltd/Aquaset/Filmworks
Rating: no rating but could be R
Running length:  85 Minutes

“3 Lives” begins with what the audience thinks may be the beginning of a hiking expedition, only to find out that it is a kidnap situation involving three people--- two men and a woman. After that shock, the story is told in flashbacks and we find there is a relationship between the three people. So…not the usual kidnap-for-ransom story, but one with depth and involving an assault from years before. The three people are Emma (Mhairi Calvey), Ben (Tyron Ricketts) and Jamie ((Martin Kaps). 

As the film begins, Emma finds herself confined in a cage in a cave, and then, there are two other men, also in cages, Ben and Jamie. They call to each other and eventually, the men can break out of their confinement, free Emma, and away they go. It is rough forest terrain, and they are miles from help. Despite minor accidents, they keep going, knowing that someone is behind them. Eventually, we find out their pursuers are three men who are being paid for their capture. Ben and Emma knew each other years ago. He assaulted her and she had him arrested and imprisoned.  Now, he is her rescuer? And Jamie…the weak one in the group…how can he survive? Who has a vendetta against all three? Or is it, two, and Jamie was the innocent bystander?  Since none of the three are experienced in being in the woods, they do make mistakes, which can be harmful.  This is a physically active film. 

Mhairi Calvey does good work as Emma, with a past, but bits and pieces come out.  Her facial expressions speak volumes. Tyron Ricketts as Ben begins as the villain, now out of prison, though, watch his body language. Is he reformed or not? Martin Kaps, "Jamie," keeps getting in everyone’s way with whining and complaining, but is he really so inept? 

“3 Lives” is indeed a puzzle to put together in less than 90 minutes. Just when you think you have it figured out; something happens to take you in another direction. This is a story about abduction, escape, redemption, revenge, coming to terms with the past and survival. Everyone is dealing with something that is emotionally challenging to them, including the guys chasing them. “Supposed to be an easy job” becomes a labyrinth of past experiences.  

“3 Lives” certainly keeps the audience guessing as to what is happening and loyalties shift from one person to another. This is a film where you can’t take your eyes off the screen because you might miss something. 

 

Copyright 2019 Marie Asner